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Fergus shares 8 unmissable opportunities that accountants & bookkeepers often overlook during EOFY.

REVENUE GROWTH 4 mins 11 Jun 2021 by Fergus Gillanders
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It’s almost the end of the financial year (EOFY), which means one thing: review time. Client reviews are great - but internal reviews can be just as valuable.

Where can I improve personally? How can we improve our internal processes? What do we want to achieve over the course of the next year?

This high-level thinking helps refine your approach when re-engaging clients. You’ll clearly know what you want to achieve and how. In turn, this will define the services that you offer your clients and will even dictate whether or not you actually continue working with certain clients.

Let's take a look at eight unmissable opportunities that accountants and bookkeepers often overlook during EOFY.

1. Increasing your service fees

You’d be surprised at how often this is completely overlooked.

Professional service providers should raise their fees annually to account for inflation. Sure, your services might not have differed from last year. Unfortunately, however, it now costs more to run your practice than it did 12 months ago.

Compile a list of regular outgoing: software fees, insurance, staff wages, and so on. Then, analyse the distinct services that you currently offer your clients (for instance, by downloading the Service Revenue Report from your Ignition Dashboard). Once you work out how much it costs to run your practice, and how much you receive for your services, you can then identify areas where you can increase your service fees.

2. Review client profitability

There’s no excuse for doing work for free. As accountants and bookkeepers transition towards monthly fixed-fee billing models, it's even more important to make sure each and every one of your clients is paying you a fair price for your time.

Sit down and run the numbers on your clients. Think about the last 18 months alone and how much extra work you provided without being compensated. Now is the time to show your clients what this extra support is actually worth.

3. Consolidate your client base

Some clients are more profitable than others—that’s just a fact. However, it’s worth reviewing whether you want to continue working with these clients. Are they more hassle than they’re worth? Could you use the time you usually spend on them working on another more exciting, more profitable project?

Don’t feel bound to a client just because you’ve worked with them in the past. Once you’ve decided which clients you are going to continue working with, you can then use Ignition to effectively re-engage them across a range of billing models.

4. Automate your engagement process

Manual re-engagements are time-consuming. You have to find the old contract, read the terms and services, make the necessary changes, send the new agreement, and finally receive the signed copy. Oh, and that’s all without mentioning the fee collection process.

Fortunately, you can now just use Ignition to devise new proposals in minutes thanks to a range of custom templates. Alternatively, you can simply rollover your previous proposal, make some quick changes, and send it off.

If you want to really wow clients then you can even record a short video before embedding it within your proposals.

5. Moving clients to fixed-fee billing

EOFY gives you a great opportunity to shift your clients over to a fixed-fee billing model. This provides you with a predictable revenue runway—leading to improved capacity planning and greater visibility over client profitability. By collecting these fees in advance at the start of the month, you’ll also improve your cash flow and client stability.

If you’re concerned about pricing the correct fee, add a simple out of scope service to the proposal to be billed frequently or at the end of the year. You can even use our Proposal Options feature to give your clients the choice between variable billing or fixed fees (and even offer a small discount to entice the switch over to fixed-fee billing).

For more information, check out our Fixed Fee Playbook.

6. Automate payment collection

How can you eradicate late payments?

By collecting payment details upfront. This will give you increased control over when you collect fees, thereby solidifying your cash flow.

The ideal scenario is to collect fees on an automated payment schedule, though some clients are hesitant to agree to this. Fortunately, you can now provide clients with more ways to pay by collecting payment via the Review and Pay function. Once you send your client an invoice they can enter their payment information and determine when the funds are withdrawn from their account.

Over time, clients will become familiar with the payments process and feel comfortable with an automatic collection. They can then choose to apply their payment method to future invoices which transitions them over to the automated payment schedule.

If you are re-engaging your client base this year, make sure they are all engaged through Ignition and that you've made automated payment collection a requirement. If some are hesitant, you can gently guide them to the automatic process after allowing them to initially pay on invoice.

7. Upselling your services

EOFY is a great time to speak to your clients about their ambitions before upselling them on any relevant services that will help them achieve their goals.

Clients might want to take some time to mull over these proposed new services—this is absolutely fine. With Ignition’s Options feature, you can even give your customers the choice of up to three different service packages. You’ll also be surprised at how many people go for the highest option once they see its benefits compared to your other service offerings.

8. Running a Debt Recovery Campaign

Overdue fees can be a tricky topic. By officially formalising an agreement through Ignition, however, you can organise all existing outstanding fees to be fixed up for the year ahead without engaging a third party.

Give your clients the choice between weekly, fortnightly, or monthly repayments to spread the debt over manageable timeframes. Check out our support guide for more guidance.

Questions or queries?

If you want to find out more about how Ignition can help your practice follow these 8 unmissable EOFY opportunities, reach out to your account manager or contact our support team at help@ignitionapp.com.

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Meet the author

Fergus Gillanders

Account Manager (APAC)  Ignition

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Published 11 Jun 2021 Last updated 19 Mar 2024